St. Teresa of the Child Jesus, the Little Flower, the greatest saint of modern times according to Pope Pius XI, enjoys a huge popularity. She arrived at the summit of the ecclesiastical honors: saint, secondary patroness of France (not a small one!), Doctor of the Church, her relics went around the world. How many churches contain a statue of the saint? It is therefore normal that we have on our religious shop a category grouping religious objects dedicated to Saint Teresa of the Child Jesus.
But how did her fame reach these heights when St. Teresa of the Child Jesus was only a humble Carmelite of a poor provincial Carmel and died young at 24 without being noticed?
It all started when the nun in the way to be known as the Little Flower died. After the death of a sister, it is customary in the Carmels to send to the other communities a short bibliography of the deceased. For Saint Teresa of the Child Jesus it was easy to realize because she had written, at the request of her sister, Mother Agnes of Jesus, three manuscripts that told her story and her spiritual life. Mother Agnes of Jesus, who had sensed the great sanctity of her younger sister and the value of her spiritual doctrine, contented herself with taking up these manuscripts with some modifications of style and expression according to the liberty given by St. Teresa of the Child Jesus herself before his death.
The Carmelites did not have the financial means to publish this book, which was several hundred pages long. Happily, Uncle Guerin, who looked after everything and became wealthy thanks to an inheritance, took care of the expense. Once published, the book was sent to the various carmels of France, but not without the apprehension of a failure. However, this first edition of the story of a soul soon appears to be successful. The nuns of the various carmels had the good idea to advise this work to those who came to their monastery. Thus the first edition of 2000 copies, published on September 30, 1898, was exhausted quickly and soon a second edition was imposed, and how many others followed! Each new edition was for Mother Agnès of Jesus the opportunity to add poems, hymns and letters of the saint.
It could have remained there if Heaven had not been involved in miracles and other supernatural facts since 1899. When reading this life of Saint Teresa of the Child Jesus, the faithful felt pressured to invoke her. All followed as if the great confidence of St. Teresa of the Child Jesus was contagious. From there began that rain of roses; the privileged ones of these graces, in thanksgiving for the benefactions received, went to the Carmel of Lisieux and to the municipal cemetery where the saint was buried.
Such is the beginning of the torrent of glory which went on to increase, especially during the great war when the soldiers were numerous to testify of a special protection of the saint; Blessed Father Brottier, chaplain during the Great War and founder of the apprentice orphans of Auteuil, is an illustrious example. This torrent of glory culminated with the recognition of St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus, as a doctor of the Church by Pope John Paul II. Recall the main dates of the glorification of St. Teresa of the Child Jesus:
August 14, 1921: the heroic virtues are declared,
- April 29, 1923: Beatification of Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus by Pius XI
- May 17, 1925: canonization of the Blessed in the presence of 50,000 people,
- July 13, 1927: the liturgical feast of St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus is extended to the universal Church
- December 14, 1927: she is proclaimed patroness of the missions like Saint François-Xavie,
- September 3rd, 1929: laying of the first stone of the basilica of Lisieux,
July 11, 1937: inauguration and blessing of the Basilica of Lisieux by the papal legate, Cardinal Pacelli, future Pius XII,
- May 3, 1944: Pius XII appoints Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus as patroness beside St. Joan of Arc,
- 11 July 1954 solemn consecration of the Theresian Sanctuary, raised on this occasion to the dignity of Minor Basilica,
- October 19, 1997: Proclamation of Saint Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face Doctor of the universal Church.
Here are the "ecclesiastical decorations" of this saint whom one of her sisters in religion said just after her death: "Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus was very kind, but what can we say about her after her death? "
St. Teresa of the Child Jesus reaches the summit of her spiritual life with her act of offering to Merciful love. This act consists in recognizing that God is love and that He created us in love, by love and for love. By this act of offering we offer ourselves to God so that in us and through us he can fully exercise his divine mercy. In doing so, we answered the divine wish to find souls ready to welcome the merciful love of God, who want nothing but overflow the heart of men. Our smallness and meanness are nothing else than a ramp and an appeal to the divine mercy. The very core of the divine mercy is to bent toward smallness and meanness. Thus we can truly trust the powerful love of God who can change our poverty into holiness.
When Céline, the blood sister of the Little Flower who the last enter Carmel of Lisiseux, crossed the enclosure gate, she brought in her camera! With the agreement of the prioress of course. Thanks to that unheard of derogation, we have had a few pictures of the Saint. The most famous of whom have been used to achieve religious diptychs and triptychs on in our religious shop. The citations of the other panels are summed up from The history of a Soul. The valuable meaning of those quotations of the Little Flower are attested by her title of Doctor of the Holy church.
In reading the descriptions of our religious items about Saint Thérèse of the divine Child, you shall see some point or other concerning her life or spirituality.